The rumors continue that the 25-year-long marriage between Karim Aga Khan, the wildly rich leader of millions of members of the Ismaili sect, and his beautiful British-born wife, the Princess Salima, known to her friends as Sally, is on the rocks. Actually, the union has been rocky for years, because Karim, in his lofty position, can do anything he wants to do — and does. “They won’t get a divorce,” said a close friend. “According to his laws and his religion, she can never divorce him.” No, but he can divorce her.
Another long marriage that seems to have run its course, according to their friends, is the Christina and Gerry Goldsmith one. Pretty Christina has gone off to Europe — her mother is the Countess de Caraman — and Gerry has gone off someplace else.
Meanwhile, if anyone remembers him, Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s one-time flame, Jean Yves Le Fur, is still steady as she goes with top model Karen Mulder. They’ve recently been sunning themselves in the fashionable Caribbean resort of St. Barthelmy. According to all polls, she looks better doing it — that’s sunning herself — than he does.
“I wanted to put him on a leash and take him home, he was so adorable.” So reportedly spaketh Diane Sawyer after she visited her husband Mike Nichols’ “Wolf” set, where she was kissed by an extremely fuzzy, lupine-looking Jack Nicholson. Put him on a leash, yes, but take him home? That’s what makes horse races.
Incidentally, one of Long Island’s stateliest mansions, Old Westbury Gardens in Westbury, the old Phipps estate, plays a major role in the romantic thriller “Wolf.” They also shot some of the scenes in the apartment of my building — but I didn’t want to take anybody home.
And, of course, you’ve all heard why Mike Nichols has said nobody else but Nicholson could do the part. He insisted on Jack because, according to Nichols, “he’s sort of halfway toward being a werewolf to begin with.” All in good fun. All in good fun.
The Prince of Wales and Vaclav Havel, the president of the Czech Republic, joined hands, so to speak, over the weekend in Prague. Prince Charles was there for the cultural and social events celebrating the Heritage of Prague, whose reason for being is to rebuild that city. Just say “rebuild” to Charles, and you immediately get his attention.
The weekend was too good to pass up for about 150 socials and whatnot from all over — Mercedes and Sid Bass of New York, Fort Worth and Aspen; Vivian Duffield, the London heiress; King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece; Lord (Jacob) Rothschild; Princess Esra Jah; like that. Nobody asked for money exactly, but donations were gratefully received. You bet.
The festivities began with a jazz band and dinner at Prague Castle the first night, went on to cocktails and a concert the next, with Sir Georg Solti leading the Prague Philharmonic at Vladislav Hall in the castle and the magnificent Kiri te Kanawa raising her voice in song, followed by a banquet prepared by the famous chef Anton Mosimann, who had been flown in from London to feed the flock. (You do remember that Kiri te Kanawa sang at the wedding when Charles married Diana, but, sport that he is, he has never held it against her.)
She’s supposed to be largely responsible for getting him where he is today, and he’s totally responsible for getting her where she is today. So when our ambassador to France, Pamela Harriman, asked Bill Clinton to a private breakfast yesterday at the embassy in Paris, of course he said yes. Pam trotted out the big guns along with the scrambled eggs — cabinet members and about 30 French and American businessmen, including the powerful Bernard Arnault, the chairman of Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton LVMH, and Georges Meyer, the chairman of Galeries Lafayette. Meyer was mum on topics discussed at breakie, but everyone knows his company took out a full-page ad in the International Herald Tribune thanking “friends of France.” “We are very happy to have been liberated,” said M. Meyer. Now if he can just get that word out to snooty receptionists and snootier maitre d’s at the best restaurants and hotels who bow and scrape if you’re a somebody and turn up le nez otherwise. Remember D-Day!
Nobody ever said Emelia and Pepe Fanjul of all that Dominican and Florida sugar never knew how to give a party. They entertain lavishly for numerous houseguests from all over at their beautiful house at Casa de Campo, the stunning resort they own at La Romana in the Dominican Republic, at their far-flung place in Palm Beach where Pepe is Spain’s honorary consul, and in New York where they have digs on Fifth Avenue, decorated by Pauline Boardman.
Their latest New York party brought out the local swells plus their pal from London, David Metcalfe, who was wearing what looked like a new gold ring sporting his family crest. David is the son of the late “Fruity” Metcalfe, once the Duke of Windsor’s trusted equerry, and of the late Lady Baba Metcalfe, who, if memory serves, was a legendary beauty and the daughter of Lord Curzon, the British viceroy in India — so if he can’t sport a little crest, who can? Metcalfe, seated between those two pretty birds Princess Firyal and Carol Mack, looked as though he had swallowed a cageful of canaries.
Emelia was chic in Carolina Herrera polka dots, and her darling daughter, also called Emelia, looked like the last word in what the very young are wearing — whatever that is. It changes every day or so.
In the crowd were such as C.Z. Guest, Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Pauline and Dixon Boardman, Blaine and Robert Trump, Duane and Mark Hampton, Susan and John Gutfreund, Jerry Zipkin, Count Vega del Ren, Anne Bass, Nina and Dan Baker, Carroll Petrie, Virginia and Freddy Melhado, Patricia Patterson, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Judy Taubman, Liz and Damon Mezzacappa, Dolores Smithies, Nan Kempner, Kenneth Jay Lane, George Livanos, Georgette and Robert Mosbacher, Fernanda and Jamie Niven, Gail and Hari Theodoracopulos, Thorunn Wathne and Harry Platt, Carol and Earle Mack, Barbara Bancroft, Lorna de Wangen, Emelia’s Fanjul’s mommy Helena Hackley, Gaetana and Tom Enders, Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, Alfonso Fanjul Jr., Hilary and Jack Geary, Barbara and Bobby Liberman, Nicole and Derek Limbocher, Jean Tailer, Shirley and Abe Rosenthal, Catie and Don Marron, Robert Woolley — all of whom are so glad to know the Fanjuls and get invited to their parties. So far.
(On Friday, read about the big gala at The New York Public Library where Brooke Astor danced around in gold lace and little gold slippers while the band played on.)